The Goa Tourism on Friday issued an advisory asking tourists and others to be cautious and not to swim or come in physical contact with the live or dead jelly fish washed across the beach stretches of Baga to Sinquerim in North coastal Goa.
The advisory comes in the wake of reports that live Physalia utriculus, also called Blue Bottle or (Indo-Pacific) Portuguese Man-of-War fish are stranded on the said beach stretch.
“They are very venomous and can cause extremely painful sting, which could result in allergic reaction to severe hyper allergic reactions,” the advisory issued by the Director of Tourism Menino D’Souza has said. Inspite of precaution, if anybody feels painful sting while at the said beach stretch, they are advised to take medical treatment at the nearest State Healthcare Centre, according to the advisory.
Terra Conscious, an organisation monitoring marine wildlife in Goa had earlier on Tuesday alerted tourists and others about jelly’s presence on this coastal belt.
Puja Mitra of Terra Conscious, an organisation monitoring marine wildlife in Goa officially in partnership with Forest Department under a collaborative project with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN India), had told The Hindu that on Tuesday a lifeguard of Drishti Lifesaving manning Goan beach in north Goa got stung by one of these venomous organisms and was hospitalised.
“We were alerted as we are officially partnering with Goa Forest department on the monitoring of wildlife,” Ms. Mitra had said and added that these animals are Siphonophores, which are colonies of multiple organisms.
Sometimes they become stranded on beaches, where their toxic nematocysts can remain potent for weeks or months in moist conditions.
She said that some very venomous jellies can cause an extremely painful sting, which “if you have a tendency for allergic reactions, or a heart condition, etc., can send you into anaphylactic shock”.
In case of a sting, Ms. Mitra suggested that the affected area must be washed with hot water. “Vinegar can also help, if rubbed directly on the stung area. Place ice packs to reduce the swelling and pain. Note any chest pains, difficulty in breathing and to report immediately to the nearest medical centre,” she further suggested.
She said that the lifeguards guarding the coast have been made aware of this, and can provide help, but pleaded that people should not go close at all and a big “No,No” to touch them.